The Great Stephen Hunter strikes again. This time he helps Washington Nationals baseball fans deal with the losing.
Paragraphs like this are just a pleasure to read.
Baseball is just a toothache. It's a headache that won't dance to the music of Tylenol. It hurts and hurts and hurts. I am something of an expert on baseball hurt. I stayed with the feckless, cheap-o Cubs for years, though thank God I was in the Army and crawling through New Jersey marshes during the big collapse of '69. That would have killed me. I happened to get out of the Army on the first day of the 1970 World Series, and so I watched the Orioles do their thing and was in their thrall just in time -- perfect timing! -- for the big decline. Oh, there were spurts, none of them worth the pain. I remember the last game of the '79 World Series, when Pittsburgh came back from being down, three games to one, to dust off the Birds. I remember being stuck in traffic. I remember being so depressed I could hardly breathe or talk, and there was no big Sunday game to seduce me from the pain. I remember the '83 series, and wish I could say it was swell. As baseball, it was pretty awful: The Birds just wrapped Philly in a large wet blanket of great pitching and squashed them to nothingness in five games, without a single memorable play. Aghhh.